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Uruguay Examines Hidden Racism Following Violent Attack on Afro-Uruguayan Woman

LADB Article ID: 78902
Category/Department: Uruguay
Date: 2013-02-22
By: Andrés Gaudín

Peaceful Uruguay, a small corner of South America with slightly more than 176,000 sq km, fewer than 3.3 million inhabitants, and a progressive government, awoke on Dec. 16 to news that, before dawn in the capital Montevideo, four white women had attacked an Afrodescendent woman, screaming "black shit," kicking and punching her, and leaving her unconscious, bleeding, and with a perforated liver. More than a century and a half after Uruguay abolished slavery, 47 years after the country signed the UN's International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and having always lived in apparent peace with the descendants of the men and women brought like animals from Africa—slightly more than 8% of the Uruguayan population has African roots—the cultured and egalitarian country discovered that racism is widespread in its society.

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